Saturday, April 24, 2010

Update on Acer AL1711 Backlight flashing

I posted a few months ago about a flickering and flashing backlight on my Acer AL1711. When I’d turn it on, it would briefly flash on for about half a second, but then go dark. I fixed that problem by turning down the brightness to the minimum setting (without the help of the backlight, which is quite a task, see bottom of this post for detailed instructions).

However, the problem continued to the point where the monitor wouldn’t stay on even at minimum brightness. Here are two alternative solutions if you’re not ready to part with your monitor:

1) With your computer on, turn on the monitor. The backlight will flash off, but leave the monitor on, i.e. with the LED indicator green, for about 5-10m. This warms up the components. Then turn it off and turn it right back on, and the backlight should stay on.

2) Buy a new Power/Inverter board for your monitor. I found one on eBay for $9 including shipping. It took about 10 minutes to install, and now the monitor seems to work fine.

Please leave a comment if this helps you out!

Here is the sequence to reduce brightness if the backlight doesn’t work: hit “Menu” button once, wait 2 seconds, “Menu” button again to select “Brightness/Contrast”, “Right Arrow” to select “Brightness”, “Menu” to enable the Brightness selection, then hold “Left Arrow” for 5-10 seconds to lower brightness to 0, “Auto” x 3

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Photoshop Elements 3.0 “Initializing Threads” Crash Error on Startup

A client had a problem loading her Photoshop Elements 3.0 software. When it reached the “initializing threads” phase of the loading process, the following error popped up, and Photoshop Elements crashed:

image Error Code: c0000096, Address: 49e7629

Using Process Monitor to view what was loading at the time of the crash, I was able to isolate the perpetrator, which were Quicktime components. I am unsure why Photoshop Elements needed to load Quicktime libraries to work, but every time it attempted to do so, it crashed.

Specifically, the files were found in the C:\Program Files\QTSystem folder. I renamed this folder to “QTSystem1”, and now when Elements loads, it bypasses this folder which was causing the glitch, and loads right up. I don’t know if this will reduce the program’s functionality, but my client hasn’t complained.

Please leave a comment if this helps solve your problem!

Enabling Full S3 Standby Mode

If you were disappointed to find out that when you put your computer into standby mode, the fans are still running, you may be able to solve this problem by following some of the suggestions at this link:

I was able to help a client solve his standby issue. He had upgraded to a USB mouse (his old mouse used a PS/2 connector). By using the registry override, Windows XP re-enabled the S3 standby mode, and his computer went into full sleep mode.

Excellent Repair Reference for Lenovo Laptops!

I was doing some hardware work on a Lenovo laptop, and found these excellent servicing videos created by Lenovo. They show you step-by-step how to disassemble and reassemble any of their laptops!

How to Recover the Menu in the Windows Task Manager

You may have stumbled across a curious problem with the Windows Task manager where the menu and options disappear, leaving you with the feeling that a virus has hijacked your computer:

image There is no problem with your computer, however. You must simply double-click in the thick white border area just within the edge of the window, and the menus will be restored!

Quickbooks 2008 Accountant Edition QBW Failure!

I was using Quickbooks 2008 Premier Accountant Edition when my computer had an error and I was forced to reboot without closing any programs. To my dismay, after I restarted the computer, Quickbooks crashed every time I attempted to open it. I.e., before it even got to the screen where I can enter my company password, it would lock up and generate a crash report.

I decided to check if my company’s QBW file was intact, but every time I would open the folder where it was located, Windows Explorer crashed.

I found this link on the Intuit Support forums which gave me some good advice. Following the instructions there, I was able to load Quickbooks and select a company to load, but when I selected my QBW file, the program crashed once again.

By chance, I happened to move the two temporary files mentioned in the link (MyCompany.QBW.ND and MyCompany.QBW.TLG) to the Desktop, as well as the main QBW file. Then I reopened Quickbooks, loaded the company QBW file from the Desktop and it miraculously opened up as good as new!

Once I had this file opened, I immediately saved a backup copy (QBB). Then, I emptied the folder where I initially stored the QBW file. I closed and reloaded Quickbooks, and chose to restore a company from a backup file. I selected the QBB file, restored the company QBW file to my original folder, and then it worked fine as before.

Needless to say, I now backup my QBW file whenever Quickbooks tells me to (every 4 days or so), but I was lucky not to lose any data this time!

I hope this helps you; please leave a comment if it does!

Script Error 54 in Outlook Express, Services.msc

A client recently had a very strange error that occurred when she opened Outlook Express. When OE opened, it begin by generating an Internet Explorer Script Error with code 54, and the welcome screen would not load (only the folder list on the left):

image I was able to bypass the error message by clicking “yes” in the prompt, and everything seemed fine. However, I was unable to see the home screen, and when I tried to compose a message, I could not enter any text in the message window.

Similarly, when I tried to load services.msc to check which services were running, the same Script Error 54 came up when I clicked on each service. I began to realize that the error was related to generating dynamic content in Windows, because the description of each service would not display.

By chance, I tracked the problem down to the jscript.dll file in C:\Windows\System32. If I unregistered this dll (open cmd prompt, type Regsvr32 /u jscript.dll), and opened Outlook Express, I did not receive the error (but the same problems still arose).

I checked the version of jscript.dll, and it was 5.7. I was able to update Internet Explorer on that computer to version 8, and this subsequently updated the jscript system on that computer to version 5.8. I suppose this reset and settings that had become corrupt, and everything worked fine after this update.

If this helps you out, please leave a comment!